FalconsUK Mock Draft: Defensive Line

Atlanta Falcons defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (56) celebrates a goal-line stop of the Detroit Lions during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Atlanta. Fowler was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after a team mate knocked his helmet off during the celebration. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

With each “the Falcons should piece” argument, we will be posting a full seven round mock draft based on those arguments. Each mock has been run using the Pro Football Network’s mock draft simulator. You can read the case for a defensive lineman here.

Round 1 – Pick 4: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

The standard 1-2-3 of Lawrence, Wilson, and Fields lead us to the Falcons, who look to create a new defensive identity. As we’ve established, Parsons isn’t a defensive lineman per se, but he’s someone capable of contributing there. In fact, he’s someone capable of contributing anywhere. Parsons is the ultimate “swiss army knife” type player. Part-pass rusher, part-coverage linebacker, Parsons will be someone who steps into the Falcons defense on day one. Dean Pees is going to have the time of his life moving Parsons inside, outside, dropping him back to cover tight ends, you name it. He will be someone any opposition offense will have to account for every single down, and the Falcons defense will be better for it.

Photo Credit: Benjamin Solomon-Getty Images

Round 2 – Pick 35: Asante Samuel Jr, CB, Florida State

Slightly older readers will recall a time when the Falcons secondary wasn’t made up of paper mache and blu-tac. While it wasn’t necessarily good, the defense of 2012 was certainly opportunistic, thanks in no small part to Asante Samuel. In 2021, the Falcons add the son of the two time Super Bowl winning cornerback, in an attempt to rekindle that magic. Samuel Jr    had an excellent 2020, hauling in 3 interceptions, and forcing one fumble. In the second round, the Falcons get an excellent competitor, ideally complimenting A.J. Terrell as the team’s CB2 from day one. Samuel Jr has the potential to grow beyond that role, and the Falcons would benefit for years to come from one of the more interesting stories in the 2021 draft.

Round 3 – Pick 68: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State

The Falcons aren’t exactly strapped for receivers, but they do need to start planning for the inevitable. With Tylan Wallace, they find their heir-apparent to the WR2 spot, once Jones moves on. Wallace is, in every sense, a deep ball receiver. More than capable of hanging with the best in 50-50 situations, as well as creating his own separation, Wallace has a knack for winning catches at the highest point. Draftek’s report compares him to the likes of Tyler Lockett and Stefon Diggs, which is an excellent position to be in. Wallace will have a very healthy 2021, and is more than capable of breaking out into one of the leagues better receivers in 2022 and beyond.

Photo Credit: Bryan Terry-USA TODAY Sports

Day Three

The Falcons have a total of 6 allocated picks on day three. One in Round 4, three in round 5, and two in round 6. With that in mind, here are the remaining picks on the final day:

  • Pick 109: Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
  • Pick 149: Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State
  • Pick 179: Janarius Robinson, EDGE, Florida State
  • Pick 182: Jack Anderson, OG, Texas Tech
  • Pick 187: Paris Ford, S, Pitt
  • Pick 218: Noah Gray, TE, Duke

Kyle Trask, Kylin Hill, and Noah Gray are the three players I want to highlight from those names. Kyle Trask is a name that, from what I’ve seen, has steadily slid down boards all season, and I’m not entirely sure why. Trask’s 2020 was excellent, throwing for over 4000 yards, scoring 43 touchdowns, and giving up only 8 interceptions. They even went to the SEC Championship game, and hung 46 on Alabama. The concern with Trask is his ability to go off script. When things start to go awry, and he has to rely on his own traits, Trask’s ability to make throws is sketchy. What he would benefit from, and what he would get in Atlanta, is time to settle. He’s a project QB, but one that could reap huge rewards if handled correctly. Two years behind Ryan, and he can compete to start in 2023.

Kylin Hill’s 2020, much like all of ours, was rocky. He played 3 games, largely struggling, before opting out of the rest of the season to focus on the draft. You’re relying on his 2019 season to attempt to make an informed decision on whether to take him. Fortunately, his 2019 season was pretty good. 1350 rushing yards, 10 touchdowns, as well as 180 recieving yards to boot, Hill is dynamic to say the least. Hill’s versatility could see him play as a traditional running back, as well as in the slot as a receiving back, becoming the sort of fun piece Smith can make the most of. The Falcons running game needs help in 2021, and Hill could be primed to provide that instantly.

Photo Credit: Michael Chang-Getty Images

Noah Gray is an interesting case. Having transitioned from quarterback to tight end from high school, Gray could be the sort of player that becomes a sneaky late round success. Gray isn’t a starter day one, nor is he ever likely to become one. As depth? Absolutely. Gray lined up in the slot, in the backfield, and out wide for Duke, to varying degrees of success. But for a coaching setup that covets versatility, Gray might be the ideal candidate to create some trickeration. Hell, he might even get to put that high school quarterback experience to good use. 

Featured Image Credit: Brynn Anderson-AP Photo

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